There are a number of things that you can do to help you go to sleep.
Before you get into bed.
Use an exercise book or paper. Write down headings and what detail you need of your concerns at the moment, or draw pictures, or use symbols (if you don’t want anyone else to see what is on your mind!) .A good idea is to tell your unconscious mind that these things are not problems that cause difficulties in your life, but things that have a solution and then picture the solution really brilliantly and ask your mind to create solutions while you sleep. You are giving your unconscious mind something to do while you are asleep.
This is just to set it out on paper. Be brief, it isn’t a journal.
Shut the book.
If you need to plan tomorrow’s activities, also do that now, on a separate TO DO list that you will have available tomorrow.
If any further thoughts about this come to you about any of this, just say to yourself, “Go away. It’s in the book!” By doing this you let your unconscious mind work on the material so that next morning you will wake up with some better and more organised ideas of what you do.
You do NOT think about any of this, or worry about anything, in bed.
Use whatever works to have you go to sleep. Here are three suggestions.
1. Do progressive muscle relaxation, letting go, relaxing, sections of your body one at a time. E.g., feet relax (let go with "Feet, relax and be happy". And let them flop.), ankles relax (let go, and do the same ….), etc. progressively up the body, and, if you like, down the backbone.
2. Have two or three sleep fantasies – picture/stories that have nothing to do with your everyday life and don’t have emotional engagement or conclusions. Walk along a beech, garden, heal the sick, journey through the stars … imagine …
3. Sleepy Hand. You are in bed. Your eyes are closed. Imagine that one of your hands has gone to sleep. Notice that it has just … let go, lost conscious awareness, really relaxed and drifted off.
Find another place in your body that feels the same way. If you can’t notice one, imagine the other hand asleep. Then find a place in your head that feels the same way.
Let the feelings expand from those places. Let the sleepy feelings just gently fill your body end enjoy it and drift off to sleep.
4. Magnetic Palm. While awake sitting you stare at the centre of the palm of one hand which is relaxed palm-up on your thigh. You imagine/pretend that right in the middle of your palm there is an area the size of a ten cent piece which steadily becomes magnetic and increases to the size of a twenty cent piece as it becomes more magnetic and begins to attract the tips of your fingers towards it. You take no notice of your fingers but as the centre of your palm becomes more magnetic you become drowsier and drowsier and fall asleep.
You practice this before you go to bed because once in bed it’s dark and your hand is under bedding. But you brain now knows what to do and you just imagine it all and it works.
(If you feel stuck with racing thoughts, remember something you really like, preferably relaxing, as a STILL picture/awareness. Hold it STILL as long as you can. Repeat this. Follow this with Core Relaxation or some similar process which focusses on breathing.)
None of us are perfect (Except possibly me! This is a joke. Jokes are good preparations for bed. Being really serious is probably going to keep you awake!)
There are times when nothing seems to work, and your best bet is to get up and have cup of tea or do some tiny task, and then start again.
Sleep by Self-Hypnosis
Learn this simple process and use it.
You can’t make a mistake as you do it! (That’s a rule!)
In bed, lie in a comfortable going-to-sleep position.
Close your eyes. Let your eyelids become very relaxed. Tell your brain that it’s time to go to sleep.
Imagine that there are ten steps down in front of you to a place of real
Each step is a step of relaxation. As you think of each step let yourself relax perhaps twice as much. Let go of all your tension as go down.
At the bottom, you are in a hallway. Opposite is a door with your name on it,
You walk across and push open the door. This is your own deep safe inner space. There is an armchair but you walk past this because there is a further door.
You go through this into the corridor of your inner trance house. The first door on the left is labelled, “Sleep Room”. You go in.
There in front of you is your Sleeping Bed. You lie down and close your eyes.
In this bed you can see nothing except the grey-black of your closed eyes, which tells your whole body,”Sleep!” You let yourself fall asleep. There is no other way to go to sleep but to fall sleep.
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© David Townsend 2014